Reporter Kjersti Flaa has been under fire from fans since one comment in her interview with Claudia Kim and Ezra Miller was interpreted as racist.
Fans who watched the interview began shaming the reporter, claiming that she was ignorant and racist.
Focusing on Claudia's (flawless) English speaking capabilities in the interview was..inappropriate. Also for future reference saying "impressive" because an Asian actress is speaking fluent English is not only unprofessionally condescending but somewhat racist.
— zoe mckay (@sjkilo) November 7, 2018
The reporter initially responded with the explanation that she was simply impressed by the fact that a person whose mother tongue was not English could read a Harry Potter book by the age of 9.
I was impressed by someone being able to read Harry Potter in English at the age of 9 (I sure couldn't) when its not your mother tongue. Dont you find that impressive?
— Kjersti Flaa (@KjerstiNewYork) November 7, 2018
Fans were unimpressed by her response with many replying that they were rather impressed by her ignorance instead. They also pointed out that, according to the interview, Claudia Kim read the book when she was in middle school, not when she was 9. Though, to be fair, it may be a bit much to expect a Norwegian reporter living in the United States of America to know the age restrictions of Korean middle school.
I am impressed too of your ignorance👏 Also Claudia mentioned middle school as an interviewer you really should give more attention to your interviewee. 조팔 Youtube에도 Ezra only실화??ㅋㅋ you are just jealous of her because she is just greatㅋㅋpls have confidence in yourself😉
— GimiRG (@gimi_rg) November 9, 2018
Why does someone who is not white speaking in fluent English have to be so impressive to you? Well, I must say that I am really impressed by your racism.
— purplebear (@kate7746naverc1) November 8, 2018
Claudia said she was in middle school when she read the HP book. How is that 9? Was that the only flimsy excuse you could come up with? Also since you are not racist, why didnt you explain yourself instead of going on a block/delete frenzy?
— Kohll (@Kolifkug) November 8, 2018
After receiving harsh criticism from fans, Kjersti Flaa took it upon herself to post an apology on her Instagram, explaining her intentions and apologizing to Claudia Kim and her fans.
“This is @claudiashkim who I had the pleasure to meet and interview last week for the Fantastic Beasts 2 movie. Since I posted my interview with her and Ezra Miller I have realized that something I asked her came off in a way that was never intentionally meant as being anything else but curiosity, but it has later been brought to my attention that it sounded ignorant. I am a Norwegian myself and English is not my first language and I was really impressed that Claudia could read Harry Potter in English at a very young age (since she grew up in Korea and I know that English is not her first language). I have received a lot of emails with extremely unpleasant threats to me and my family after several sources are calling me racist and other terrible things. I have been totally heart broken by everything that has happened. All I wanted to do was make a great interview with her and Ezra and I am sorry to everyone that was disappointed. Now, please spread some love into this world instead of fueling it with more hatred. And if you read this Claudia, please forgive me if I offended you. ❤”
ㅡ Kjersti Flaa
Meanwhile, fans and Korean netizens continue to bombard Flaa’s SNS with negative comments.
- “This is why you shouldn’t associate with uneducated people. You just can’t get through to them. It’s almost creepy how low her standards are. I feel bad for her…”
- “There are certain things you shouldn’t ask in public as a “public figure”. It comes with more responsibilities for your word choices. If you are really curious about language proficiency of young foreigners you can always google it in private🙄 or even ask in private. It’s not appropriate as an interviewer. Its a question of professionalism. Ignorance is a guilt whether its purposeful or not in 21st century, especially in this profession.”